It’s no secret the US loves meat. The average consumer will eat 222.2 pounds of red meat and poultry this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, surpassing a record set in 2004.
But consumers’ carnivorous tastes are slowly shifting. Whether they’re making these changes are due to health, diet, environmental, ethical, or economic concerns, one thing is clear — people’s appetite for meat alternatives is bigger than ever.
Just look at the attention Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have received. In April, Impossible Foods announced that they raised $114 million in funding in the last 18 months and, earlier this year, 26,000-square-feet of R&D space was added to Beyond Meat’s lab in El Segundo.
Between 2012 and 2017, sales of US meat substitute in the packaged food industry have risen an average of 4.7% each year, according to market research firm Euromonitor. In comparison, processed meat only grew about 1.6% per year during the same period.
And this growth isn’t just a passing fad, the global meat substitutes market is estimated to be $4.63 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow to reach $6.43 billion by 2023. This includes everything from plant-based proteins to lab-grown meat.
However, one meat substitute is making a bit more noise than the rest. Lately, insect protein has received a lot of hype; even the United Nations has suggested switching to bugs. And, from the looks of it, those buying in will likely to reap some serious rewards…